Thursday, May 5, 2016

Authentic Characters

I've been thinking about this a lot for the last couple weeks. Because I believe in general there are two reasons a person keeps reading, the character(s) and the story. Even when the writing, prose, grammar, etc isn't great, if the story is good and the characters are compelling, a person will keep reading. Or at least that's how it is for me. One example for me is Delerium. After about four chapters I couldn't bring myself to care about the character or her story. And I loved Panic, which was by the same author. Another example is The Selection. Now I admit there are times I think America is a bit too self absorbed and I need Maxon to be more magnetic, I still like them both enough to keep reading, but only just ;) Third example, Katniss Everdeen. Yes she can be "unlike able", stubborn, says not nice things and her vote at the end of Mockingjay was in poor taste; it does not matter because she said "I volunteer!" Katniss is not always the most likable person but she loves deeply and fiercely and she will literally give her life for those she loves. Characters need to be complex, like humans because, duh, they are humans. At least in most stories. Although my Chronicles of Chora also has animals as characters :) Complexity is in the details. Take me for example. I love cherry coke from Sonic. However I think regular coke is gross and I usually don't drink canned/bottled cherry coke. Example two, also about me ;) is... I have always preferred pasture to forests. Forests are pretty but I'm a country girl and pasture is useful for both feeding the livestock I love and providing a big open space to ride in. We are having 4-5 acres of woods logged off our land to convert into pasture. When I saw the trees falling and when I walked through the piles, I was sad. I even told my husband I would have decided not to log it if I had known what I was feeling in that moment. When I write, I can't always give you every detail and explanation for why a character is the way they are or acts the way they do, but I need to know it. Because if I know my character inside and out, you will feel like you know them too even if you don't know they hate coke but love cherry coke from Sonic. Keep on writing! Ps I'm getting close to publishing my second short story about Jael from The Chronicles of Chora!

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